Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A conversation with skincare expert Antonia Burrell

It's not often you get a chance to speak to a renowned skincare expert and green beauty pioneer but that is exactly what happened to me today as I chatted all things skin and green beauty with Antonia Burrell. Antonia has over two decades experience in the industry as facialist and is a complete force of nature in her own right, speaking to Antonia her knowledge and passion shines through in every word, I was completely blown away by how warm and vivacious she was and before I knew it we had been on the phone for over 45 minutes.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Everyday essentials: Brows

I have to confess that I have never really bothered to do much with my brows apart from get them waxed, I tried brow pencils but they never seem to look natural enough for liking, no one likes the drawn on look and my brows are already fairly strong. When Lily Lolo launched these new Eyebrow duos (£7.99) it wasn't long however until I jumped on the band wagon and bought one.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Battle of the high end lip products

The natural world is kicking things up a notch in terms of the quality and colour selection when it comes to more natural make up but let's be honest finding the right product for you can still lead to costly mistakes if your not careful. I thought I would give you the low down on the high end lip products from natural brands I own and my thoughts on each in case you are wondering where to invest your hard earned cash. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Feel like a queen with La Sultane de Saba

After testing so many natural and organic products it can be hard to find something that is fresh and interesting, however I am always looking out for more niche brands and making interesting discoveries, La Sultane de Saba is definitely a brand that got my attention with it's products inspired by oriental beauty rituals and travelling around the world.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Summer must haves

Ahh the summer, a bit of sunshine and in the UK suddenly we are all getting pasty pale arms and legs out for all to see. I am not someone who does well in the heat, in fact quite the opposite, we have had some quite hot days already here in the UK and these are the beauty products I have been relying on to keep cool calm and presentable.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Skincare love: 100% Natural products from Metta skincare

I have been so excited to share this review with you, it's a real gem of a brand and one which I have fallen head over heals in love with.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Behind the brand: Weleda Insight day 2014

   Vintage Weleda Poster from Italy

One of the highlights of last year and of writing this blog was when I received an invitation to go to visit the UK Weleda HQ in Derbyshire, so this year I was over the moon to be asked back again. You can see my post about last year and what I learnt part one and part two.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Green beauty news and launches #7

It's been a busy old couple of weeks for green beauty news, I went a couple of weeks ago back to Weleda UK HQ in Derbyshire for one of their insight days and had a thoroughly fantastic day learning lot's about how they manufacture their medicines. I will have a post up about that at the weekend so check back in if you are interested. I always like a good green beauty road trip!

Monday, 7 July 2014

NATorigin eye shadow review

    NATorigin are a brand that have cropped up a few times before on this blog I am a big big fan of the mascara and I have yet to find another natural mascara that performs like NATorigin's. The lipstick and eye pencil are also firm favourites. Today I have a review of the Eye shadows for you which are fairly new additions to the range. These pressed eye shadows are mineral oil free, paraben free and 100% natural, they have micronised Argan shells and pomegranate extracts in the formula. The only thing I will say and it isn't a criticism merely an observation is that they contain talc, so many natural brands still use talc despite it's bad reputation, what most people say is that talc in pressed products is safe to use, I do not avoid it in make up but I would never ever use say a baby powder with talc in it, if you avoid talc then these will not be for you, I am still firmly on the fence and until more natural brands eliminate it I can't see me managing to avoid completely. 

    I have two shades Bronze* and Mauve* priced at £15 each for 2.5 grams of product, straight away I will say the price is hefty but you also get quite a good sized product, for reference these cost a pound more than a Kjaer Weis refill but you get 1.3 grams more powder. Both of the shades as you can see from the swatch below are nice and pigmented, they are very smooth and creamy and you don't get a lot of fallout which I really liked. They both have some shimmer to them but Mauve also has a very fine silver glitter which gives an almost metallic finish. I found them to last well on the eyes but I do always need a primer always and these were no exception, the packaging is functional but not particularly inspirational given the price point, I would like to see these available as a refill so I could pop them in an empty palette too. 

    Whilst I enjoyed both shades bronze is the clear stand out for me purely because it is such a pretty and wearable colour perfect for summer, it is also a tiny bit more pigmented than Mauve is. If you are interested in any other NATorigin reviews please feel free to search in the side bar as there are a fair few, it is a brand that has a good variety of products both make up and skincare and one which makes many of favourite products. There are seven shadows in the range in total, shade selection is limited however if you find a shade you like the quality is great and worth taking a look at in my opinion, I would repurchase the bronze shade when it runs out without a doubt. 

    What do you think, do you like the look of these shadows? 

Ana x

*Sample generously provided all opinions my own. 


Sunday, 6 July 2014

The 7 Day Foot challenge with Odylique

     If you are anything like me it is easy to neglect your feet and then go in to a blind panic when English summertime finally arrives and you have to put sandals on, however this year there is no need to worry as Odylique by Essential care have got our summer feet woes completely under control with their Summer skincare bundle. 

    They have this lovely little kit on offer which contains the lovely Coconut candy body scrub which scooped a gold award at the recent Free From skincare awards and the Calendula balm, two products that will nourish even the driest of skins. The Smooth Foot kit* (£27.00) saves you a whopping £12 compared to buying the products individually, I have been using these products to get my feet summer ready, first using the scrub and then applying the beautiful soft calendula balm before popping on some socks to let the balm soak in, they have done a great job on my feet and I am now happy to report that I am sandal ready! The great thing about this kit is that it is such great value for money, the scrub is superb not just for your feet but all over your body, I adore the sweet coconut scent and sugar manages to be effective without being too harsh. The calendula balm is another multi-tasking product which I have thoroughly enjoyed, this is great for sunburn, irritated skin and any other skin emergency that can crop up in the summer, it is soft and easy to apply and has a gorgeous sunny orange colour thanks to the calendula, it also has organic coconut and olive oils as well as chamomile essential oil and the scent is beautiful. 

    Odylique is the new branding for Essential care, I have mentioned their concealer and their eye pencil quite a few times on the blog, I am also a big fan of their rose moisturiser and have used it for years, these two products have gone on my Odylique favourites list, they are both fantastic and the kit is such great value, I highly recommend you take a look. 

Ana x

*Samples generously provided, all opinions my own.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Inner Soul Organics Scandinavian Decadence range

    Once I discover a great brand I like to explore more from the range and that is exactly what I have been doing with Inner Soul Organics. Some time last year I was sent some products to review and I just loved them! You can see my review here. Inner Soul Organics is a range that is crafted with love by aromatherapist Emma Coleman who makes products designed to be pleasurable to use but also kind to the environment. When I saw they had added some new products to the range in the form of the Scandinavian Decadence range I had to make a sneaky purchase. 

    The Scandinavian Decadence Bath and body scrub (£30 for 250 mls) Is an invigorating salt scrub with a delicious blend of oils including Virgin coconut, Rosehip and Thistle which is balancing. This scrub can be used directly on the skin or in the bath as a nice invigorating soak, using it in the bath is my preferred method as I tend to find the salt crystals a little bit big for my personal preference as a scrub. You only need a few scoops of this product added to a bath, the scent is very fresh and has Juniper berry, Rosemary, Lemon and Birch, it's very different from the scents I usually enjoy but I am really happy I bought it as it is perfect for this time of year. 

    As a gift with purchase I also received a sample of the Scandinavian decadence shower serum which is only available as part of the skin softening pouch containing both products. The shower serum is another wonderful oil which you can apply in the shower and which you can really feel boosting your circulation, if like me you struggle to get going in the mornings this is the perfect product to wake up the senses. Just like the previous products I reviewed the quality is beautiful and really recommend Inner Soul organics if you are looking for a more luxury treat that has aromatherapeutic benefits. 

Ana x


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Scenting your home with Neom Organics reed diffuser

    I am a big big Neom fan and the brand has big news for 2014, it has in the month of July rebranded and added some new scents to the range, some old favourites are gone such as Contentment and Inspiration but don't fret as many of the fragrances are the same, I breathed a sigh of relief when I realised they were keeping Real Luxury and Complete bliss two of my favourites. 

   This is my first experience with a reed diffuser and I am impressed with the scent throw from this one, it lives up to it's name and with Bluebell, Guaiacwood and Rose this scent is completely magical. I have this on my dressing table and every time I go and do my make up the sweet and floral notes fill the room. Looking on the new Neom site I can't find this scent as a reed diffuser at the moment but I did do a little happy dance when I found it as a bath oil and a bath foam. This scent is now called time to unwind and all the scents are now grouped by their aromatherapeutic benefit, this one is of course part of the de-stress range and I have to say it does just that. 

   There are lot's of other changes on the site, stay tuned for tomorrows green beauty news for more on what's new but for now, I will tell you I am smitten with my Neom goodies, yes there is more I may have gone a little crazy so expect more reviews to come, with the rebrand you can find some bargains on the old packaging so if you are a fan keep your eyes peeled. You can find the new look Neom on their site

Ana x

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Alchemy Hair Oils

    There are some beauty rituals which I rarely do and others which I do all the time. A weekly face mask and hair oil treatment are two that I do every week without fail, usually at the same time much to my husband's amusement. I am passionate about pure plant based oils and their benefits for our skin and hair so when I was contacted my Amandeep from Alchemy oils I was excited to make the connection. Amandeep and her sister have always used oils as part of their haircare regime and it is integral to Indian culture and so they decided to develop a hair oil that would suitable for all hair types.

    Their beautiful blend comes in a very classy glass bottle, the packaging and the branding undoubtedly make a good impression from the get go. Whilst the packaging is beautiful, for practical application purposes I decant a small amount in to a plastic bottle with a small nozzle to make sure I don't spill any precious oil. The Grapefruit hair remedy* (£17.99 for 100 mls) is made up of five oils, coconut, avocado, sweet almond oil, castor oil and grapefruit essential oil. Coconut oil and avocado oil are already two of my favourite oils for your hair, coconut is one the oils that has been found to penetrate the hair and helps repair it, avocado is also deeply nourishing and strengthens the hair. The oil in this blend that I haven't used before is castor oil, but is a very light oil which has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities, whilst also improving circulation making it absolutely fantastic for the scalp. The grapefruit essential oil give it a love citrus scent but is also said to stimulate the hair follicles. 

    I have really enjoyed using this hair oil, it is light and easy to rinse away, I love the fact that this is pre-blended with some of my favourite ingredients making things easy for me, especially at the moment as I am too busy to mix my own. I have found my hair to be growing really thick and strong lately and I am sure that this alongside the Body Deli shampoo I have been raving about have been responsible. If you have never used an oil on your hair you are missing out, although it may seem a scary thing to do there is really no need to be worried, I like to take a small amount of oil at a time and rub it in to my scalp and through the ends of my hair and allow to absorb, the longer you leave it on the better. This blend is quite light so I think it would be suitable for all hair types, if you are prone to very oily roots then you can apply to just the ends, but I tend to think that oils can balance oil production so it is worth trying on the scalp too to get all the benefits. 

   If you are on the lookout for an oil blend for your hair then I highly recommend this one from Alchemy oils, it's always great to support a small business that is just starting out and you can tell the founders of this brand are really passionate about what they are doing. Do you use oils on your hair? 

Ana x 

*Sample generously provided, all opinions my own as always.
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